Movie Review: “Victor Frankenstein”

James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott
Paul McGuigan

Sometimes a bad movie reminds you of how great certain actors are, and that’s definitely the case with “Victor Frankenstein.” For the most part, director Paul McGuigan’s reimagining is just that – a bad movie – but it’s one that’s lucky enough to have James McAvoy in the lead role. McAvoy is a great actor, which he proves here by giving his all as the titular character, in spite of the quality of the end result.

Written by Max Landis (“Chronicle,” “American Ultra”) – although it went through a series of rewrites, as is usually the case on a project of this scale – the film tracks the early relationship between Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and hunchback/surgeon Igor Strausman (Daniel Radcliffe). The hunchback’s real name isn’t Igor; he’s simply taken the identity of Frankenstein’s absentee roommate. After freeing the young man from the circus and curing him of his back problem, Frankenstein offers the lost soul a chance at greatness: to be his partner and create life. Of course, as we’ve learned from past Frankenstein adaptations, that doesn’t work out so well.

“Victor Frankenstein” is a well-intentioned misfire. The film is more about a friendship than monsters running amuck, and McAvoy brings a sense of sadness and manic energy in almost every scene he’s in. The character’s arc and McAvoy’s performance are well rounded. At the end of the film, his sad past and obsessive drive is palpable. It’s a very, very good performance, but even if it was the best performance of the year, it couldn’t salvage the rest of the film.

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Movie Review: “Secret in Their Eyes”

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Alfred Molina, Michael Kelly
Billy Ray

“Secret in Their Eyes” had its work cut out for it. The source material is a (fantastic) 2009 Argentinean film which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film the following year. It’s an intense, well-plotted crime thriller with an unrequited love story at its center. I described it at the time as “The Remains of the Day” set in a 1970s police station. Writer and director Billy Ray (“The Hunger Games,” “Captain Phillips”) knew that timeline wasn’t going to fly with a 2015 American adaptation, and while he loses a bit of the “Remains” aspect of the original story as a result, the time in which he places the flashback, post-9/11 Los Angeles, is a genius move. Paranoia is at an all-time high, and all of law enforcement was under tremendous pressure to find someone they can turn, and once they did, they protected that asset at all costs. You can see where that kind of environment would cause good cops to make bad decisions, and bad cops to make worse ones.

Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) works security for the New York Mets, but he spends his nights scanning databases for the one that got away 13 years ago, when he was working for the Counter Terrorist Unit in Los Angeles in 2002. He’s watching a local mosque, and when he receives word that a body is found in a nearby dumpster, he is shocked to discover that it is the daughter of his colleague Jessica (Julia Roberts). Ray’s only suspect in the case was a boy who regularly visited the mosque, but because of the boy’s value (he was a mole, and was about to give CTU an entire sleeper cell), he was considered untouchable.

Present-day Ray asks Claire (Nicole Kidman), for whom he’s been carrying a torch since the moment he met her and is now the city’s district attorney, to reopen the case so they can investigate a man recently out on parole, whom Ray firmly believes is Jess’ daughter’s killer. At this point, even Jessica is telling Ray and Claire to walk away, but Ray is motivated by this case for a reason that not even Jessica knows.

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Live Out Loud Without Worrying About Your Tech


Every day, smartphones form hundreds of functions, making our lives more fun, more convenient, and more connected than ever before. Unfortunately, those impressive capabilities, smartphones, tablets, and other pieces of tech come with advanced and complicated internal workings that can be extremely fragile.

For most of us, a piece of tech such as a smartphone or tablet isn’t something we can simply afford to replace every couple of weeks, and the threat of damage causes us to constantly worry that our equipment may end up getting ruined with the slightest bump or graze.

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5 Myths of Manliness


There’s always been a little bit of a divide between what’s genuinely manly and what’s perceived as manly. It might have all started with The Man Show, which glorified the simple and dirty joys of manhood. But in the years since, there have been so many shows, websites and other forms of entertainment preaching (or at least implying) what it means to be manly that some bizarre ideas have had time to develop.

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5 Ways To Protect Yourself From Long Term Hearing Loss


Most people agree that having good health is one of the most important things for all of us – because without it we can’t really enjoy the rest of our lives. That’s why we go to the doctor when we’re feeling off colour, to the dentist when we’ve got a toothache or even to a physiotherapist with our aches and pains. But one area we don’t pay nearly enough attention to is our hearing.

Considering it’s such a vital sense we barely give it a second thought and it’s only when we start to lose it that we start to appreciate its importance.

With this in mind, here are five ways that right now you can start to protect your hearing from damage.

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